The City to the Sea half marathon takes runners through the stunning Central Coast, one of the most beautiful regions of California. The race starts in San Luis Obispo, which was recently named the “happiest place in America.” The mild climate, proximity to the ocean, small-town feel, university influence from Cal Poly, and surrounding vineyards and mountains all contribute to the unbeatable vibe of San Luis Obispo.
The Central Coast has a vibrant wine community with excellent climate and soil, producing some of the most renowned wines in the U.S. Following the race, leave time to explore the wine-growing regions in the area, which stretch from Paso Robles to Arroyo Grande. The widely varying microclimates throughout these regions offer up incredible differences in the varieties and flavors of the wine from each location.
The race ends in the Shell Beach area of Pismo Beach, which is perched on the Pacific Ocean. The mild October climate is an ideal time to relax on the beach and enjoy the coastal scenery.
If you haven’t had your fill of adventure from the race, head north to Montana de Oro State Park, located near the small town of Los Osos, about fifteen minutes outside of San Luis Obispo. This park has everything from sprawling beaches to sand dunes to high peaks and an extensive trail system. It’s a great place to explore the dense interior or just have a nice picnic on the beach.
Further north on Highway 1 is Morro Bay with the world-famous Morro Rock. This rock is actually a volcanic plug, the internal remnants of an ancient volcano. Morro Bay is a popular surf spot and a great place to walk on the beach, grab lunch or play a round of golf.
Charming Coastal Towns
While you’re on the Central Coast, explore the surrounding towns, which are filled with unique shops and great restaurants. For a full list of activities and information about the Central Coast, click here.